... I have no idea why the state doesn't require oil companies to have places for employees to live before starting to drill.
At the risk of turning this into a political discussion which can go way OT in a hurry, that's the camel's nose in the tent. Requiring private employers to ensure that enough housing is available locally for employees before opening a business or starting any sort of endeavor would ultimately make doing business in this country even more expensive than it is today, resulting in both higher consumer prices and more industry moving offshore.
Where would it end? Should Walmart, Target, Macy's, etc. have to ensure there is enough employee housing before opening a new store? Honda or GM ensure there is housing before opening an auto factory? In the chicken-and-egg scenario, why would housing developers build houses where there is no factory to employ the homeowners merely on spec, hoping that a company might
open a factory if
there is enough housing? I think you can see where this is going -- someone will end up paying for either empty housing to be built to guarantee a factory, or an idle factory until the housing can follow, and that someone will be consumers and/or taxpayers.
If you apply this "rule" only to a single industry, such as oil exploration and development, the same effects occur just on a narrower scale. You simply end up adding to the costs of the product, which in this case is fossil fuel, and (here comes the bus-related content), we the consumers of said fuel will ultimately pay the price, all so that a tiny tiny fraction of the population can avoid being temporarily inconvenienced -- classic NIMBY.
I will point out, BTW, that at the same time the taxpayers of Williston were complaining about losing their small-town feel and having to deal with congested streets, higher crime, and all the things that go along with explosive growth, they were also quick to cash in on the bonanza by jacking up rents, selling property at substantial gains, and fleecing the drillers for everthing they could. Nothing wrong with this -- it's just how the free market works.
North Dakotans may not be used to it, but the American west is dotted with towns that went from one-horse to boomtown overnight, then boomtown to ghost town nearly as fast -- it is the way of the world with scarce natural resources like minerals such as metals and gemstones, and, yes, fossil fuels.
Parking at the Walmart in Williston is a casualty of the situation, but frankly I am happy to give that up in order to advance domestic oil production and reduce our dependence on foreign oil -- notwithstanding Nick's thread about HoJo motors
I will be running diesel in my bus for the rest of my life.